Sunday, October 31, 2010

Style Sunday: Black Boots

I finally purchased a pair of black boots, these, which I described in a previous post. I can't wait 'til they arrive! (Since the store was out, I had to order online and guess if my size will fit or not.) These are gonna be my everyday shoes for the fall, what's left of it anyway!

Sorry this is so short but I worked all day alone and it's a holiday. Happy Halloween everyone! Enjoy the candy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

margarita + friend = perfect

An Ultimate Margarita from Friday's

I hit happy hour Friday night. I love happy hour. A friend and I ended up at Friday's where I promptly ordered one of my favorite drinks, their Ultimate Mango Berry Margarita on the rocks, no salt. I sooo deserved that large margarita after the long week I had! Plus, the appetizer we split happened to be half price. It was also so great catching up with my friend, just perfect really, just what I needed at the time. Didn't even know I needed to talk/ complain about certain things.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Philly!

Hey, check this out:

Happy Birthday Philadelphia!

I hope to live there again one day...

My day hasn't been so good... ugh. So, I'm taking a trip down Memory Lane...

My Beloved Philly Studio Apartment
That's right, no sofa behind the coffee table! Hey, I was a graduate student and very poor.
(I kinda staged it to secure a new tenant since I had to break my lease.)
I am slowly replacing that huge, oak furniture to go with more of those medium-sized, espresso-toned pieces.

The Other Half
I scored that dinette really cheap at Goodwill.

A peach and brown bathroom!
 ...oh well...

My Balcony.
I love a balcony!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Style Sunday: Out with the Old and In with the New

1.  I've been wanting to replace my very worn black boots for about five years now I bet. I finally decided on these! They actually resemble the ones I'm trying to replace. These will be my everyday pair of shoes for the fall, so, firstly, a heel under three inches is crucial and, secondly, even though I love a skinny heel, it's a bit rectangular for more stability. My pick is also a short boot so I don't have to wonder if my muscular calf will fit and will be easier to run around in, plus they're $50 cheaper than a taller boot. I find the square toe is more comfortable than a pointy one, especially with my long toes. I like the cute little buckle. I have yet to try them on so hopefully my search will soon be over. My sister and I are going to pick them up on Wednesday.

2. I work in a mall and I had some time to kill this weekend so I wandered around and fell in love with a khaki trench at the Banana Republic Factory Store. Like I said, it's a khaki coat which is lightweight for the fall with a dark brown tortoise-shell belt buckle and buttons which form a single column which I think makes me look less wide when compared to the classic double-breasted variety, (and you guys know how I usually prefer the classic thing.) They didn't have my size and it's a big purchase, so I haven't picked it up yet. I signed up for e-mail coupons so I'd like to wait to see what's the best deal and for it to be my big personal purchase on my next paycheck. Hopefully I can be patient and wait ...because I really want it!

I would be replacing the khaki trench I already own. My old one from Old Navy is a size Large and I think I would probably take a size Small there now... I swim in it, but since it has a belt, I kinda make it work, ...kinda. After seeing its potential replacement, I don't even like the one I've gotten so much use out of anymore! It is edged with multiple rows of visible white stitching, which I could live without. At an Old Navy price, I certainly got my money's worth! When was I last purchasing stuff in large? Years ago.

There are other things I need to replace, like at least another pair of pajama pants and jeans in my size to wear with heels, but those two things I described above are the ones I'm currently truly lusting after.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Philly Phan here

The Phillies are currently winning in the 7th inning of Game 5!
Come on you guys!

This is the fifth game of the National League Championship Series. They are beating the San Francisco Giants. The winner of this particular series of games goes to the World Series. If the Phillies do it, then it'll be their third consecutive year. I was living in Philadelphia in '08 and that was somethin'... Anyway, I'm so proud!

I also adore the latest tourism campaign for the city. Postcard writing signed "With Love, Philadelphia <3 XOXO." I may be partial to postcards since I am a penpal [to an Italian girl; does that surprise anyone?], but it's fun and clever... as well as supportive!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Style Sunday: Scarves

Thank God it's fall! It was finally cool enough to wear a scarf on top of a jacket yesterday and today. Here is my beloved scarf/ pashmina collection:

This is a pretty good representation of the color in my closet as well...

This IKEA hanger with all the circles is really working out. I may have to purchase another one of these things if a particular scarf or two catch my eye in Italy. There's already one too many on there, as you can see. (I love home organization stuff!) Only like a half dozen or so of my collection were actually purchased in Italy.

My Italy budget has been up a week and I think the only thing I might change is possibly staying in an airport hotel the night before my international flight leaves at 9:30 AM. That is, if I come back. ;) I've never made any promises to!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Italy Trip Budget

Rick Steves lists the six parts of a trip budget: "airfare, surface transportation, room and board, sightseeing/entertainment, shopping/ miscellany, and gelato." :)

$695.40 already paid, not in credit.
Baggage Fees: free for a single bag on Delta's international flights

Surface Transportation:
ride to/from US airport: free!
5 train trips between cities (Milan>Verona>Venice>Padua>Venice>Milan) at about $20 a piece except for the last leg, that'll be $40: $120 total
Transportation to/ from Milan airport: $40. (A guess, could take a number of forms of transportation.)
Venice Vaporetto rides: $22/ 12 hours one day (incl. to Murano) and I'll just walk around the other day.

Room and board:
Night 1: Verona: $167/ night Hotel Aurora
Night 2+3: Venice: hostel: $45/ night, $90 total
Night 4: Milan: hostel: $45

$50/ day for meals over 6 days: $300 total. Although I hope to spend $150 total. (Cappuccino, cornetto, pizza, pasta, red wine, spritz in Venice, gelato!)

Sightseeing and Entertainment:
$18 for admission to the Scrovegni Chapel [I've seen the sights in Venice like twice.]

Shopping and Miscellany:
Murano glass: $138 (100 euro)
Postcards, future gifts for others: $50
Souvenirs including street art: $100 ($25/ day for four days in Italy)
Extra cash for the unexpected (incl. a bit of internet access- for reservations, let people know I'm alive. Baggage storage, more fun, etc.): $15
[No Prada or Gucci!]

Total: $1800
Hope that the total is: $1650
Left to save: $1105

This is very basic, but I just need to be in my beautiful Italy, eat Italian food and shop for blown glass. ...and this is just what I'm spending! I hope to meet up with people I know there and have lots of fun on the cheap. I post this because I need to stick to it. I tried to overestimate for everything. It also shows you can go international for under two grand!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Style Sunday: Giving Gray Another Chance

I am reconsidering the color gray for my wardrobe. Maybe Stephanie at C'est si bon inspired me when she chose gray for her minimalist closet because it reminded her of France; think the Eiffel Tower. I love that! I do have some gray in my closet: a pair of dress pants, a long sleeved v-neck tee and a recent purchase of a lightweight cotton robe. Plus, I did fall in love with pewter last summer too...

I think I'm a bit apprehensive about this color because I have history with it. I had a perfectly happy childhood, not a thing to complain about, but I wasn't and didn't allow myself to be my own person until I hit age 18 and went off to an out-of-state college to live outside my comfort zone and rather independently. With my love for travel and trying out new places to live, this is something I truly embrace now. But that is a whole 'nother post! Anyway, as a minor, I was a wallflower, hoping to blend in, sneak by without anyone noticing. I was very shy and quiet. I wore gray all the time in middle and high school. It was a big color for me. Then, in college, I starting wearing vivid, saturated color. I was officially an Art major, (Art History to be exact) and adored color. I suddenly found gray to be so blah. I was comfortable in my own skin, and ever since I've wanted to wear red and my favorite color, dark pink. The tops I have in these particular colors double the number I have in purple, blue and green combined.

...but I love how dark gray goes so well with red and lavender, colors I adore. I think I'll just have to add it to my closet, a darker shade though, charcoal gray. Even a medium gray would be fine... The light variety is still a bit blah to me, like ballet pink is to me as well. This would also be a part of my thinking about dressing up neutrals with accessories and (colorful) scarves and all. Wearing the same basics but changing it up with different accessories would be better on my wallet (now that I'm going to Italy!). Even has a story on how to decorate with gray this week. I do not believe I'll be going that far.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm Going to Italy!

I purchased my airline ticket to Italy this morning! :)

My Personal Photo of Venice

Another Photo of Mine
...but my former co-worker Clyde played with it.
This is Piazza Navona in Rome.
(Rome's answer to the most beautiful piazza in Italy.)

I scored the cheapest price directly with Delta. (A detailed budget to follow.) I'll be departing Wednesday, March 16th and returning Monday, March 21st. That's four days, four nights in Italy, not including actual travel time. I fly into and out of Milan (which is significantly cheaper and more direct than using Venice's airport). I hope to spend the first night in a hotel room with a balcony overlooking Piazza Erbe in Verona, my splurge. Although by American standards, I believe it to be a basic two star hotel (Hotel Aurora). It seems every city has a piazza that is supposed to be the most beautiful in Italy, and Verona and its Piazza Erbe is no different. Passionate Italians love their superlatives! I can hardly wait to sit and take in the view, have an Italian guy serenade me from below... The other three nights I will stay in hostels. Since I've already seen the sights in Venice, I'll just spend two days shopping for my beloved Murano glass. Sometime in there, I will run off to Padua to see Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel (which is very important art. I happened to study Art History for six years.). I'll probably stay in Milan the night before my return flight. Leonardo's Last Supper is there; maybe I'll see that too... I hope to keep this really affordable. I'll happily eat pizza and panini. And walk far from the touristy centro to get a better deal. These four cities are very close together too.

I'm absolutely thrilled. ...but, then again, I don't think it's really set in yet. I'm not a morning person. On that note, off to work!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Enjoying the little things

I hit up Panera a couple of times a week. Normally, I rush in to grab a coffee (always a cappuccino certo!) before heading across the street to work. However, within a busy schedule today, I fit in time to actually enjoy the experience of having my cup of coffee. I've been loving how the caffeine makes me uber-productive much more than anything else lately. But, today, I ordered my cappuccino in an actual mug with extra foam and dined in. It tasted much better than normal. Maybe it's the mug? Though perhaps it was because it was a different Panera location than my usual one? I usually also have their chocolate pastry too. I also squeezed in this particular outing last Wednesday.  I can hardly wait to have a cappuccino e cornetto next to a sunny piazza in Italy though...

I hope to purchase a plane ticket to Italy this payday, this Friday. :) Stop by Friday to see if I do! And to check out my itinerary! Also, if you'd like to join me or meet me there, then let me know really soon!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Style Sunday: What I Want for Christmas...

I would love to stow my jewelry and clutches in this beautiful jewelry armoire from JC Penney. Right now I have a couple of jewelry stands, a couple more small dishes and a small musical box sprawled all over my desk. This would clean all of that up. Plus, put away, I could store my pieces in small plastic bags so the silver won't tarnish as quickly. Each drawer has different sized compartments for everything. I also love the exterior, the cut-outs resemble rose windows of a church. My associate laughs at me since everything reminds me of Italy.